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“The School Climate Challenge—Narrowing The Gap Between School Climate Research and School Climate Policy, Practice Guidelines and Teacher Education Policy"

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“The School Climate Challenge—Narrowing The Gap Between School Climate Research and School Climate Policy, Practice Guidelines and Teacher Education Policy"

Grade Levels

10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, Kindergarten

Course, Subject

Related Academic Standards
  • Big Ideas
    Awareness of self provides a foundation for an understanding of people and engagement in social, personal, and academic environments.
    Building and maintaining positive relationships is central to success in school and life.
    Personal, social, and academic success requires a belief in oneself, a sense of purpose, and optimism.
    Recognizing thoughts, feelings, and perspectives of self and others enables one to cooperate, communicate, and constructively interact with others.
    Responsible decision-making requires an understanding and analysis of ethical, safety, and societal consequences.
    Self management and responsibility support participation in social, personal and academic environments.
  • Concepts
    Acting consistently within personal boundaries, rights, and privacy needs contributes to effective self management.
    Active listening enhances positive relationships
    Awareness and utilization of available resources will assist in making informed decisions.
    Awareness of Personal Attitudes and Beliefs is critical to understanding oneself and how one adapts over time.
    Awareness of Personal Strengths and Interests provides a foundation for setting priorities, meeting needs, and addressing challenges.
    Communication skills are critical self-management tools in social, personal, and academic environments.
    Cooperation and collaboration are essential elements in working together constructively.
    Coping Skills are important in managing behavior in constructive ways.
    Coping skills are necessary for managing life events.
    Decisions and choices have consequences that impact self and others.
    Effective communication assists in an understanding of self and others.
    Emotions affect personal decisions and actions.
    Empathy / sympathy increase one’s ability to understand and appreciate differences.
    Establishment of short and long-term goals provides for purposeful actions towards achieving those goals.
    Expressing emotions, thoughts and feelings is essential in both intra- and interpersonal growth
    Identification of personal and social roles is the foundation for effective engagement.
    Knowledge of how interests, abilities, values, and personality relate to accomplishment of personal, social, educational, and career goals.
    Managing one’s emotions and impulses can impact the outcome of situations.
    Managing relationships supports both intra- and interpersonal development.
    Peer Pressure may influence and impact decision making.
    Personal values, attitudes, and beliefs serve as a foundation for goal setting.
    Perspective frames how one interacts with others.
    Recognition of diversity serves to inform how one responds to and interacts with others.
  • Competencies
    Demonstrate constructive ways to minimize impulsivity and deal with upsetting emotions.
    Demonstrate persistence and perseverance in acquiring knowledge and skills and responding to life events.
    Demonstrate respect and appreciation for individual and cultural differences throughout the decision-making process
    Demonstrate the ability to convey one’s thoughts, feelings, and perspectives using effective listening and speaking skills during social interactions.
    Demonstrate the ability to identify and assess verbal and nonverbal cues.
    Demonstrate the ability to prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts in constructive ways.
    Determine when, where, and how to seek help for solving problems and making decisions.
    Develop an action plan to set and achieve realistic goals.
    Establish connections with others of varying backgrounds or cultures.
    Exercise self-advocacy in the expression of one’s strengths and needs.
    Explain how personal strengths may inform personal preferences and needs.
    Explain the roles one plays within various contexts and the expected attitudes, beliefs, and actions associated with each.
    Identify alternative solutions to a problem
    Identify alternative ways of achieving goals.
    Identify how personal attitudes and beliefs impact one’s behavior.
    Identify personal and social roles.
    Identify personal attitudes and beliefs.
    Identify personal strengths and interests.
    label, and express one’s emotions, thoughts, and feelings in varying situations.
    Make associations between one’s personal experiences and the experiences of others.
    Make the connection between how one feels and how one behaves.
    Monitor and adjust one’s behavior in order to play and work cooperatively.
    Recognize and analyze the effect of peer pressure when decisions are made.
    Recognize and appreciate individual and group similarities and differences.
    Recognize and name one’s emotions.
    Recognize different home, school, and community resources that support intrapersonal growth and development.
    Reflect and identify options and related consequences, both positive and negative, before expressing an emotion and/or taking action.
    Respond and adapt appropriately to personal and environmental cues
    Set short and long term goals.
    Understand causes of one’s feelings/emotions/behaviors.
    Use a decision-making and problem solving model
    Use active listening skills as a means to identify the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others.
    Use social cues to inform the expression of one’s emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
    Utilize a realistic self-perception in the planning and monitoring of goals.


We do not understand why there is such a gap between research and policy here. These issues, in combination with underdeveloped implementation planning, will hinder schools’ abilities to promote positive school climate through policy. There are two, overlapping dimensions shaping school climate related practice: Assessment and school improvement guidelines. First, school climate is not regularly evaluated with measures developed in a scientifically sound manner and that comprehensively assess all of the dimensions that shape experience in schools, as well as assess K-12 students, parents and school personnel. Accountability, which depends on reliable assessment procedures, is a national educational policy in the United States. Second, it is unclear to what extent school climate improvement efforts are aligned with research findings. Understanding about school climate is largely absent in teacher education efforts. School climate is an often overlooked factor in explaining student achievement. This situation presents many questions for policy, practice and teacher education leaders: • What policy options are available for state policymakers and education leaders to ensure school climate is a critical component of accountability and school improvement systems? • How can we integrate research-based information about school climate into the preparation and credentialing of teachers, school-based mental health professionals and school administrators? • What are the basic components of research-based school climate improvement efforts? • How can building, district and state school leaders learn from one another to further research and understanding about effective school climate improvement efforts? SOURCE: National School Climate Council (2007). The School Climate Challenge: Narrowing the Gap Between School Climate Research and School


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